Research Paper On The Great New Orleans Kidnapping

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The Great New Orleans Kidnaping Case Essay #2 The Reconstruction Era, in the history of the United States, has two meanings: the first covering the entire nation from 1865 to 1877 following the Civil War; and the second covering the transformation of Louisiana from 1862 to 1877. Reconstruction was a prolonged and difficult process that still impacts the state of Louisiana, as well as the United States today. In The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era, the author and historian, Michael Ross, argues that the public reaction to Mollie Digby’s kidnapping and the trial of her suspected kidnappers can help readers understand the history of “New Orleans and the Reconstruction era.” Several details must …show more content…

For several months, this kidnapping case enthralled New Orleans more than any other crime that had taken place. Due to the Reconstruction of New Orleans, the police force in the city was drastically altered in order to solve the kidnapping mystery as soon as possible. Governor Warmoth planned to improve the state of Louisiana first by updating the police force. Ross states, “The Police force had been poorly paid, was notoriously corrupt, and often staffed by illiterate thugs as violent as the criminals they pursued” (17). This explains the unprofessional policing in the city, which would never be good enough to solve a case as big as the Digby’s. In order to modernize the police force, Warmoth changed three major things. He removed them from being under local control to state control, had the force’s name changed to the Metropolitan Police, and required training policeman to pass literacy and background checks, as well as medical tests before becoming part of the team. The officers received new uniforms, badges, capes and rifles, as well as had the privilege of being educated by northern policemen on how to be successful. New recruits were dismissed if seen slacking on the job, and in order to attract professional men into joining the Metropolitan Police force, a higher income was offered. Surprisingly, these changes helped because the officers took on service roles such as …show more content…

Many New Orleans residents were caught off guard by the jury’s decision for the case; however, the eventual calmness in New Orleans after the acquittal implied that the Reconstruction experiment was not necessarily a bad thing after all. Though the jury made the decision to end with a discharge, which was probably best due to its outcome, there were too many unanswered questions. The jury should have prolonged the case so they could explore every possibility of what happened in June of 1870. From the reader’s point of view, there seemed to be way too many suspicious acts, a long with previous trials ending unfairly, to fully agree with this

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